Political Science Now

PS Symposium Reassesses Welfare Retrenchment

Businessman drawing white arrow above graph

As politicians weigh the processes and outcomes of welfare policy, Paul Pierson’s book Dismantling the Welfare State has provided insight on the means and consequences retrenchment. In a symposium in the April issue of PS, guest edited by Eric M. Patashnik, scholars gathered to revisit Pierson’s theories.

From the Introduction

Paul Pierson’s Dismantling the Welfare State is a modern classic. For two decades, Pierson’s theoretically innovative and empirically grounded account of the Reagan and Thatcher administrations’ retrenchment efforts has provided the intellectual foundation for the study of the politics of the welfare state after the golden age. The winner of the Gladys M. Kammerer
Award for the best book in the field of US national policy, Dismantling the Welfare State has been cited some 3,500 times in Google Scholar and remains essential reading for scholars of comparative politics, American politics, and policy studies.  This is a fitting moment to take a fresh look at Pierson’s analysis.